Need some help - slide not closing completely - Pistolsmith

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Old 12-19-2014, 03:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Need some help - slide not closing completely

First off, I am no gunsmith, by any stretch. I've changed grips and that's about it!

I have a Colt XSE with maybe 500 rounds through it, and just had some nicer sights put on it. When I got my slide back (I only sent the slide in) with new sights from the 'smith, I noticed that when I put it back together, the slide does not completely close... about 1/32" overhang. Enough to block the engagement of the safety, but it will fire.

here is a dropbox link to a photo:

I've disassembled it, and cleaned it - nothing out of place or damaged to the naked eye- reassembled it several times. I noticed the frame, slide, slide stop and barrel will lock and the safety works. Add the barrel bushing and it won't. Even if I add the spring. What could be the problem?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
If I had to guess, I'd suspect the gunsmith did something to the slide while installing the front sight to cause it to interfere with the barrel bushing.
If the bushing is being interfered with, it may cause the barrel to bind and the slide to not close properly.

This was not uncommon when people improperly installed the older staked on front sights. When they staked them, they sometimes failed to properly remove the excess sight tenon rivet, which caused the barrel bushing not to seat correctly.

Try assembling the slide, barrel, slide stop, and bushing but NOT the recoil spring.
This will keep tension off the slide and if the bushing is binding the barrel you'll probably feel some springing of the bushing and barrel.
Old 12-19-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8

Ok, so I did as you suggested.
I am hold the partially reassembled pistol, gently turning the bushing.
As I try to engage the safety, I have to really push. as I do, and it pushes the slide forward, the bushing becomes tight, and I can't lightly spin it any longer.
Is that what you meant by "springing"?
Old 12-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
"Springing" means the rear of the barrel gets a tight and springy feel as it move up to lock.

In this case it sounds like something is wrong with either the barrel bushing or the slide.
Since you just had it worked on, I'm going with a gunsmith "Oops" somewhere on the slide.
Possibly he squashed the slide in the vise when installing sights.

Talk to the gunsmith and probably send it back.
The shipping should be on him.
Down side, depending on his skill level and professional ethics he may just do whatever needed to get it to work, irregardless if it's the right thing or not.
A real pro will make it right and do so the right WAY, even if that means buying you a new slide.

Second option is to send it to Colt for a factory level repair, which will cost you.
If you don't want to wait for Colt, you could send it to Frank Glenn in Arizona. He does factory level work.

Bottom line: I'd suspect a botched job.

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